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Bull World Health Organ. 1969; 41(3-4-5): 643–645.
PMCID: PMC2427719

Future influenza vaccines and the use of genetic recombinants*


Genetic recombination of influenza viruses provides the possibility of immediate reassortment and combination of genes and gene products in a single step. Thus, genetic variants with desirable attributes for vaccine production can be produced by deliberate genetic manipulation of viruses rather than by the empirical ”hit or miss” methods of the past. Recombination of a high-yield laboratory strain (A0/PR/8) with a low-yield Hong Kong virus (Aichi strain) produced a high-yield recombinant virus (X-31) of Hong Kong antigenicity suitable for vaccine production. It is proposed that a prefabricated ”library” of recombinants might anticipate the mutations which may arise in the future and also that live virus vaccines of greater stability may be produced by recombination of new and old viruses.

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Selected References

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  • Kolbourne ED. Recombination of influenza A viruses of human and animal origin. Science. 1968 Apr 5;160(3823):74–76. [PubMed]
  • KILBOURNE ED, MURPHY JS. Genetic studies of influenza viruses. I. Viral morphology and growth capacity as exchangeable genetic traits. Rapid in ovo adaptation of early passage Asian strain isolates by combination with PR8. J Exp Med. 1960 Mar 1;111:387–406. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Laver WG, Kilbourne ED. Identification in a recombinant influenza virus of structural proteins derived from both parents. Virology. 1966 Nov;30(3):493–501. [PubMed]
  • Schulman JL, Kilbourne ED. Independent variation in nature of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase antigens of influenza virus: distinctiveness of hemagglutinin antigen of Hong Kong-68 virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1969 Jun;63(2):326–333. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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